GFM Network News


Writing history during a pandemic

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s a trying time for those who try to convert current events into numbers in search of meaning for what’s happening today compared with what happened yesterday. Veterinarians are expected to know about viruses and bacteria transmitted between animals and people, but obviously important pieces are missing. It is especially frustrating with how little is […] Read more

Where are we at with antimicrobial resistance?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often incorrectly labelled antibiotic resistance, has been the subject of immeasurable media attention through the past three decades. It’s a relentless rabble of potential health threats, what and who is to blame, and where do we go from here. AMR has spawned at least two generations, maybe three, of academic scrutiny, dissection, […] Read more


The coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, is new and until now, had not been found in humans.

Simple goes bad

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, a public health emergency. It’s just another stop on the Zoonotic Highway, a simple respiratory infection that matured into a global health emergency. Health agencies around the world have tried to smother the threat, but efforts seem flawed. History repeats itself: the novel […] Read more

The real issue around the red meat study is scientific credibility

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Dr. Bradley Johnston, an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, escalated the protein war when he published a report contradicting existing nutritional guidelines related to red meat consumption. According to Johnston, “Most adults shouldn’t worry about how much red or processed meat they eat. This is not just another study of […] Read more


Controlling disease will become more difficult as new diseases constantly emerge, and novel environmental, social and financial pressures across the globe change the face of disease control.

Addressing zoonotic diseases on a global scale

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In March 2019, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health launched a guide for countries using a One Health approach to control zoonotic diseases. The guide became available internationally in multiple languages in October 2019. Zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, […] Read more



Livestock should not be allowed to consume feeds containing more than 0.5 per cent nitrate if they have not been previously exposed.

Got livestock feed with high nitrates? Here’s how to manage it

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Hail, drought, spray drift or frost can all disrupt the normal growth of plants, causing nitrate accumulations that can lead to nitrate poisoning. This year, depending where you’re from, had them all. The number of animals affected by acute nitrate poisoning on the Prairies is usually low, but when losses occur, they occur suddenly and […] Read more

Sweet clover is high in coumarin, which converts to dicoumarol – a potent vitamin K antagonist and anticoagulant– if the plant is spoiled or damaged.

Vet Advice: Avoiding sweet clover poisoning

A variety of bacteria and moulds can grow in sweet clover once baled or put up as silage

Preparing forages and getting them stored in perfect condition seldom happens. Spoilage is often linked to the production of moulds and a broad spectrum of mycotoxins in grains. Syndromes in domestic livestock following consumption of feed containing mycotoxins varies depending on the species of animal involved, the stage of the production cycle when it is […] Read more


Science often struggles to communicate its research findings as they are often technical and not readily understood.

Telling a story

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Our job as scientists is to find the truth. But we must also be storytellers. Science can’t exist without telling a story. The question is not whether we should use it, but how we should use it best, writes Nick Enfield in The Guardian. Scientists often struggle to communicate the findings of research. The subject […] Read more

This winter caught many cattle producers by surprise, with the deep freeze and snow depleting feed supplies quicker than anticipated.

Dealing with uncertain times

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

[UPDATED: June 13, 2019] Cattle producers across Western Canada grow weary of the relentless 2018-19 winter. For those of us living on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, it started with a record snowfall in October followed by record cold temperatures that extended across the central and northern Prairies. From mid-December to the end of […] Read more